SC allows daughters to take care of their 89-year-old mother suffering from dementia


PTI, May 24, 2022, 7:25 PM IST

The Supreme Court Tuesday allowed the daughters of an 89-year-old woman, who is suffering from advanced dementia to take care of their mother despite the eldest son refuting the allegation of her ill-treatment and saying that he is being “painted as a black sheep”.

A vacation bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Bela M Trivedi noted that the two daughters are willing and undertake to take care including the hospital care of their mother, who is at present in the custody of their eldest brother.

“We hereby direct that the petitioners (two daughters) keeping in view the welfare interest of their mother are allowed to take care of her”, the bench said.

It directed the two daughters, one of whom is residing in Noida, to bring her from their eldest brother’s home in Muzaffarpur, Bihar through air ambulance to Delhi.

It said that both the daughters shall intimate two days in advance to their elder brother about the date on which they would like to take their mother to Noida.

The bench also allowed the four brothers including the eldest son to visit their mother, at their sister’s place in Noida.

At the outset, senior advocate Meenakshi Arora, appearing for the eldest son Krishna Kumar Singh, said that a lot of things are alleged against him and that he was not taking care of their mother and was only after the properties but these are not true.

“I am being painted as a black sheep but the fact is something else,” Arora said, adding that it was their sisters who had sought partition of properties a couple of years back. She said that their mother is taken care of well as per the advice of doctors and even the medical report does not show anything untoward. Senior advocate Priya Hingorani, advocates Manish Kumar Saran, and Satya Prakash Sharan, appearing for the two daughters of the octogenarian said that they undertake to take care of their mother if the court permits and would ensure proper medical care is given.

The bench then passed the order and posted the matter for further hearing in July. On May 16, the top court told Singh, “You seem to be more interested in her properties. This is the tragedy of senior citizens in our country”.

The bench had restrained him from dealing with the properties of her mother, suffering from advanced dementia and having no comprehension of either verbal or physical cues.

The top court had taken serious note of the fact that the eldest son took his mother who is also virtually immobile to a registrar’s office in Motihari, Bihar to get her thumb impression to allegedly sell off her properties worth over Rs two crore.

The top court is hearing a habeas corpus petition by the sisters Pushpa Tiwary and Gayatri Kumar with one living in Noida and the other in Patna.

Petitioners who are daughters of Vaidehi Singh (89-year-old mother) had earlier submitted that they have looked after her until 2019 until the lockdown and eventually intervened in March 2020 and are ready and willing to look after her and to provide her either hospital or home care as may be advised by the doctors.

They have claimed that other siblings also are not allowed to even meet or visit their mother, who is in the custody of their eldest brother and once they were allowed to meet but in the presence of police and there was no privacy.

The top court had earlier noted in its order, “Unfortunately, it has emerged during the course of the proceedings that despite the serious physical and mental condition of the mother, the fifth respondent has proceeded to deal in her properties by seeking the presence of the mother as a confirming party to the execution of sale deeds”.

It had directed, “Pending further orders, there shall be no further transactions in respect of any property, movable or immovable, of Smt Vaidehi Singh.” It had also perused the report submitted by the medical board at the Medanta Hospital, Patna, and said that the occasion for the medical examination of the mother of the contesting parties has arisen in the course of the hearing of the habeas corpus petition due to the serious apprehension expressed by her daughters, that their mother is not being provided medical care by the fifth respondent, their brother.

“The report of the Medical Board indicates that Smt Vaidehi Singh is suffering from advanced dementia and is found to have no comprehension either on verbal or on physical cues”, it had said.

Vaidehi Singh has four sons and two daughters.

On April 18, the top court had noted that serious apprehension has been expressed as regards the health and well-being of the mother of the petitioners and ordered she be examined by a Medical Board to be constituted by the Director of Medanta Hospital, Patna.

Earlier on March 28, senior advocate Rebecca M John, appearing for Singh, stated that after the mother of the parties was discharged from Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi, she is living with him at Muzaffarpur, Bihar.

On March 14, the top court had agreed to hear the habeas corpus plea filed by the sisters through Saran seeking the production of their mother.

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